Yacht club’s proposal to re-purpose old Wollongong Harbour marine rescue base

Change of use: The yacht club is already licensed to use the Belmore Basin by the Crown Lands Office, and has run a cafe from the site for some months. Picture: Robert Peet.
Change of use: The yacht club is already licensed to use the Belmore Basin by the Crown Lands Office, and has run a cafe from the site for some months. Picture: Robert Peet.

Wollongong Yacht Club is seeking formal permission to change the use of the former Marine Rescue Building in Wollongong Harbour.

In documents submitted to Wollongong City Council in July and now on public display, the organisation outlined plans to manage sailing events, boating information sessions, social activities and other club business from the Belmore Basin site.

The yacht club is already licensed to use the building by the Crown Lands Office, and has run a cafe from the site for some months – but is now seeking to make this use official in the council’s eyes.

The tiny 57 square metre premises was previously used as a radio base for the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. However, the application says this use has become redundant since the government “rationalised” state marine rescue operations. 

The club highlighted that the change could improve safety and community use of the harbour, which “has become a hot spot for vehicles in the evening to park their vehicles and linger”. 

“The area is not considered a desirable place to be after hours for the general public,” the application said. 

“Given the importance … of the site, it is unfortunate the site doesn't contain an offering suitable for everyone. We feel the proposal will therefore enhance the offering by allowing a broader demographic into the area during more times of the day.” 

The plans are open for public comment until January 8.